Funding of Interdisciplinary Research

Rachael L. Fleurence, PhD, Program Director for CER Methods and Infrastructure, Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute
Valerie Florance, PhD, Associate Director for Extramural Programs, National Library of Medicine
Misha Pavel, PhD, Program Director, Smart and Connected Health, National Science Foundation
Jonathan White, MD, Director, Health Information Technology Portfolio, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
Wendy J. Nilsen, PhD, Health Scientist Administrator, Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research, National Institute of Health
Moderator: Patricia Flatley Brennan, MSN, PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Rachael L. Fleurence, PhD, is the Program Director for CER Methods and Infrastructure at the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). Under this remit, she is responsible for PCORI’s program to set up the National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network. Prior to PCORI, Dr Fleurence worked in the field of health outcomes and comparative effectiveness research and was a senior leader at United BioSource Corporation where she led outcomes research teams. Dr Fleurence received a BA from Cambridge University (United-Kingdom), a MA in business management from ESSEC-Paris (France), and a MSc and PhD in health economics from the University of York (United-Kingdom).

Valerie Florance Valerie Florance, PhD, heads the extramural grants division of the National Library of Medicine at NIH, which awards research, career and training grants in the area of biomedical informatics. Before coming to NLM, Valerie spent three years at the Association of American Medical Colleges, leading two expert committees in the development of a roadmap for the use of information technologies in healthcare and biomedical research. She has held faculty and administrative positions at the University of Rochester Medical Center, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, and the University of Utah. Valerie’s research interests are knowledge representation for clinical problem solving and information retrieval. She was a member of the National Research Council/National Academy of Sciences study that published Networking Health: Prescriptions for the Internet. Valerie is a Fellow of the American College of Medical Informatics.

Misha Pavel, PhD, is currently a Program Director at the National Science Foundation in charge of a program called Smart Health and Wellbeing. Concurrently, he has an appointment as a professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, with a joint appointment in the Department of Medical Informatics and Clinical Epidemiology, at Oregon Health and Science University. Previously, he was a chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering and the Director of the Point of Care Laboratory, which focuses on unobtrusive monitoring, neurobehavioral assessment and computational modeling. His current research is focused on technology that would enable transformation of healthcare to be proactive, evidence-based, distributed and patient-centered. Prior to his academic career, he was a member of the technical staff at Bell Laboratories, where his research included network analysis and modeling. His current research is at the intersection of computational modeling of complex behaviors of biological systems, engineering, and cognitive science with a focus on information fusion, pattern recognition, augmented cognition, and the development of multimodal and perceptual human-computer interfaces. He developed a number of quantitative and computational models of perceptual and cognitive processes, eye movement control, and a theoretical framework for knowledge representation; the resulting models have been applied in a variety of areas, ranging from computer-assisted instruction systems, to enhanced vision systems for aviation, to augmented cognition systems. He has a Ph.D. in experimental psychology from New York University, an M.S. in electrical engineering from Stanford University, and a B.S. in electrical engineering from the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn. Misha Pavel is a Senior Member of IEEE.

Jon White, M.D., directs the Health Information Technology (Health IT) Portfolio at the Federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). Dr. White sets the programmatic direction of AHRQ’s Health IT projects, and leads a team of diverse and talented individuals at the Agency. Under his leadership, AHRQ programs have fueled and informed the tremendous expansion of health IT to improve health care quality. He is also a leading contributor to AHRQ’s other key initiatives and is an active partner to health IT programs across the Federal government, including the Office of the National Coordinator, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and the Veteran’s Health Administration. Dr. White has implemented provisions of a number of major Federal health care initiatives during his service at AHRQ. He participates in several national initiatives to improve the quality of American healthcare. Dr. White trained in family medicine at the University of Virginia and Lancaster General Hospital in Pennsylvania. He is a recipient of the national AAFP Award for Excellence in Graduate Education.

Wendy Nilsen, Ph.D. is a Health Scientist Administrator at the NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR). Wendy’s scientific focus is on the science of human behavior and behavior change, including: utilizing mobile technology to better understand and improve health, adherence, the mechanisms of behavior change and behavioral interventions in complex patients in primary care. More specifically, her efforts in technology and mHealth research include: serving as the NIH lead for the NSF/NIH Smart and Connected Health announcement, development of the NIH mHealth Public-Private Partnership, convening meetings to address methodology in mobile technology research; serving on numerous federal mHealth initiatives; and, leading the NIH mHealth training institutes. Wendy is also the chair of the Adherence Network, a trans-NIH effort to enhance and develop the science of adherence. She is also a member of the Science of Behavior Change, Health Economics and HMO Collaboratory working groups. These projects are initiatives funded through the Common Fund that target behavioral and social sciences research to improve health across a wide range of domains. Wendy also chairs the NIH Integrating Health Strategies workgroup that supports the science of behavioral treatments for ‘complex patients’ in primary care.